"Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Yes, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Well, you must tell me, baby
How your head feels under somethin' like that
Under your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat"
Bob Dylan, Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat
We were in Darby. On the corner of Main Street and Chicken Hill. I was wearing my brand new leopard skin pillbox hat that I just bought from the Moonies for two dollars and fifty cents. A real bargain. I was feelin’ good because I like bargains and was having an excellent hair day. We were debating, me and Lautrec, whether or not we should walk up the hill to visit my Uncle Richard; have a cup of Early Grey and a few tea biscuits, the crispy ones with the chocolate filling that he keeps in a Currier & Ives tin.
I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window of Bennett’s Men’s Wear and tilted my hat a little more to the side. Woohoo! Everything was just right. I put on my cobalt glasses. Lautrec said, “Oh no.” I asked him what he meant by that. He said, “I don’t mind if you wear the hat, and I don’t mind if you wear the glasses, but please, baby please, don’t wear the hat and the glasses at the same time." Can you imagine the nerve of that man?
Uncle Richard was feeling poorly. It took him forever to open the door. Me and Lautrec started singing. “Open the dooooooooor Richard. Open the dooooooooor Richard. Open the dooooooooor Richard. Open that door and let us in.” He was glad to see us. Nobody ever went to visit him.
He had a bad case of Tourette’s with coprolalia and a lot of arm thrusting, neck wrenching, shoulder shrugging and kung fu kicking. Come to find out, the reason Uncle Richard was feeling so poorly was because his girlfriend Minnie left him for another man, which in and of itself would be reason enough, but the other man was a “no-good mother effin (thrust thrust shrug thrust) pin head punk from the ( wrench wrench thrust kick kick) side show.” A human pin cushion who could stick knitting needles through his body parts with out even batting an eyelash. Funny what some women are attracted to.
And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, this no-good punk not only stole Uncle Richard's woman, but his black crocodile Gucci loafers that he bought from the Moonies, his stereo that he bought from the Moonies, and his entire Bob Dylan record collection that he bought from the Moonies. “Can you (thrust shrug shrug) believe it? Can (shrug wrench) you believe (kick kick) it? That a (shrug shrug thrust) man would stoop (kick kick) so low?”
I put the tea kettle on and washed the dishes that were piled up in the sink. Lautrec and Uncle Richard talked about deep sea fishing. Lautrec lived and breathed for fishing. Uncle Richard loved it too, but his Tourette’s made it next to impossible for him to hold a rod steady. Lautrec took Uncle Richard fishing with him once on one of those party boats out of Barnegat Light. It turned out to be a disaster. A fight broke out because Uncle Richard’s tics were disrupting the other fishermen and a couple of them thought he was kicking them on purpose. Then he started with the coprolalia and all hell broke loose. Lautrec got his nose broken. Uncle Richard got a big gash on his chin, a black eye and two busted ribs.
I checked out my reflection in the lid of the frying pan. The curved surface made me look distorted. I moved my head to and fro and from side to side to get a truer image. Lautrec said, “What the hell are you doing?”
“Just checkin’ out my new hat,” I said. “How do you like it, Uncle Richard?”
“It’s (wrench wrench wrench) effin (thrust shrug shrug) ridiculous.”
I poured the tea and asked Uncle Richard where he was hidin' the biscuits.
His face went pale. “The (kick thrust thrust kick) Ho an’ (wrench wrench wrench) her lover (shrug shrug shrug shrug) boy (kick kick) took ‘em. (shrug wrench shrug).
“Ho Ho Ho,” said Lautrec.
Out of nowhere I was suddenly seized by an intense loathing for Lautrec, and a lesser but still existent loathing for Uncle Richard. I think it had something to do with the war between the sexes, collusion, subjugation, and the plain and obvious fact that they both had an extreme dislike for my new hat.
I put on my Cobalt glasses.